Roanoke City Schools is taking a proactive approach to addressing the mental health needs of its students. Superintendent Verletta White believes that everyone deserves access to mental healthcare, and the school system has partnered with Hazel Health to provide virtual services at no cost.
The program allows students to speak directly with a licensed therapist online, which can be especially beneficial for those who may not feel comfortable seeking help in person. White emphasizes the importance of addressing the emotional, social, and psychological well-being of students in order to improve their school performance and attendance. The program also aims to help students deal with trauma-related issues, regardless of the type of trauma they have experienced.
Hazel Health offers services in multiple languages, ensuring that a diverse student population in Roanoke City can access the help they need. Since its launch, 18 students from 12 different schools have utilized the program. The school officials are also working to add physical telehealth services through Hazel Health in the near future. White believes that the overall goal is to promote wholeness and wellness for all students, regardless of their background or circumstances.